California Bill Could Criminalize the Bible’s View on Homosexuality (Source thetrumpet.com)
California is on track to add reparative therapy to a list of fraudulent business practices. The California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 2943 on April 19 by a vote of 50 to 18. If this bill becomes law, it will make it illegal to advertise or sell counseling services to people trying to overcome gender confusion or change their same-sex attraction.
It is already illegal in California to sell reparative counseling to a minor. This bill aims to expand the ban to include adults. It becomes law if it passes the Senate and is signed by the governor.
Assemblyman Evan Low, the homosexual lawmaker who introduced the bill to the California state legislature, says reparative therapy is harmful and should be outlawed. But other lawmakers worry that this bill aims to censor free speech and infringe upon religious freedom by muzzling discussion concerning gender confusion.
“AB 2943 would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act—a consumer law that outlaws unfair and deceptive practices—by adding so-called ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ to a list of banned practices,” wrote Monica Burke, a research assistant at the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “It would, in effect, ban all practices that the state deems attempting to change one’s sexual orientation—including practices as indirect as the publishing of certain material. This expansive law would impose widespread censorship that could implicate authors, speakers, counselors, colleges and universities, and even religious leaders seeking to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.”
Assemblyman Low told skeptics that the bill does not impede freedom of speech or religion because it applies only to commercial and financial transactions. Therefore pastors and therapists can still counsel people about how to overcome gender confusion as long as no financial transaction takes place. Christian groups have pointed out that a ban on advertising or selling services that help a person overcome gender confusion and same-sex attraction could be broadly interpreted to ban the sale of certain books—including the Bible. Attorney Anthony Sampson, who advises Assemblyman Low’s office, assured the Associated Press that the vaguely worded bill would not be interpreted to ban books. Instead, it would only apply to “practices” and counseling services. Not everyone believes Sampson.
Some are taking preemptive measures to protect themselves from the effects of this proposed legislation. Summit Ministries, a Colorado-based organization that teaches that homosexuality is a sin, has decided to cancel a summer conference at Biola University in the Los Angeles area.